Bead Types

Types of Beads:
Seed beads (more information)
Fire-polished beads (finishes defined)
Pressed glass beads
Cloisonné beads
Chevron beads
Dichroic beads
Furnace glass beads
Lampwork beads
Lead crystal beads

Seed beads commonly used for Loom or off loom bead weaving.
Seed beads
(more information)

Seed beads are uniformly shaped round or tube like beads. They come in a variety of sizes with lots of different kinds and a lot of different names. Most of the names are derived from the country they we made in. Seed beads are most often used for Loom or off loom bead weaving.
Fire Polished Beads are made in the Czech Republic.
Fire Polished
(Clear 6 mm) with AB coating

Fire Polished Beads are made in the Czech Republic. They are cut with machines which make the cut shadowy like scratched glass. Then the beads go through a kiln and they are heated to over 1200 degrees, just hot enough to melt the edges smooth. Hence Fire Polished. This is a less expensive way to polish a bead than buffing the cuts smooth.

Pressed Glass beads. Most of the time these 
				beads come in shapes such as leaves and flowers.
Pressed glass
Disc Round Edge Red Tigers Eye 10mm

Pressed Glass beads are made by placing hot glass into a mold and then pressing it with a stamp that has the same mold shape.  Thus a the same shape on both sides. Most of the time these beads come in shapes such as leaves and flowers.  Sometime the shape can be a simple round, oval of disk shape.

Cloisonné beads that we are most familiar with here in the US 
				are the ones made in China.
Cloisonné

Cloisonné beads that we are most familiar with here in the US are the ones made in China.  Cloisonné beads are made on a base metal such as brass or copper. The pieces would like similar to stained glass with out the glass. Then glass is ground up and mixed with a liquid just enough to make a paste. Then the paste in placed into the designs and fired in a kiln until the glass melts and melds together.
When the bead comes out of the kiln and has cooled, it is then ground and polished until it is smooth and shiny. The exposed metal is then electroplated with either gold or silver to add beauty and flare to the beads.

Chevron beads originated in Italy and were used for slave trade also called trade beads.
Chevron beads

Chevron beads originated in Italy and were used for slave trade also called trade beads.  If you have ever seen how Fimo beads are made, it is a similar process done with glass.  They add lair after lair of glass heating it each time they add a color.  Most often the design in the Chevron beads is star shaped. After they have added the colors and clear glass and the artist is satisfied with the look, the glass is stretched to the desired sized and cut in to beads. When they cut the beads you cannot see the star, so they grind and polish the ends to reveal the art inside.

Furnace Glass beads are very similar to chevron beads and also originated in Italy.
Furnace Glass

Furnace Glass beads are very similar to chevron beads and also originated in Italy. The technique for making them is much the same as Chevron beads but with a most artsy touch to the beads. The ends of the Furnace beads are not ground down like the Chevron beads. The technique for making them is also very similar to making art marbles.

Dichroic Glass beads are new on the sence of beads.
Dichroic Glass

Dichroic Glass beads are new on the sence of beads. NASA used a metal coating for the space program, that happened to be very pretty! Who Knew! LOL
Dichroic glass has a coating or specks of metal bonded to the surface of the bead with a torch or by use of a kiln. Giving the bead a metallic reflective surface, that changes as viewed like a mirrored surface. 


Seed beads commonly used for Loom or off loom bead weaving.
Lampwork Glass

Lampwork Glass beads are quite often made in the US. They are made individually  and each one is made by hand. They are made with rod and or cane glass and heated over a torch or flame. A number of types of glass and colors can be added to Lampwork beads.  Sometimes precious metals are added for a more valuable and unique bead.

Seed beads commonly used for Loom or off loom bead weaving.
Crystal Beads

Crystal Beads are most commonly known as Swarovski Crystal, because they are most famous for their Crystal beads. Swarovski is like a brand name. Crystal is defined as leaded glass, the same glass that your Crystal goblet would be made of. Crystal has incredible clarity. Bead cut from Crystal are often multi-faceted to resemble gemstones.



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